Digital Regulation: Designing a Supranational Legal Framework for the Platform Economy
By Michèle Finck (London School of Economics)
Abstract: This paper examines digital data-driven platforms and their impact on contemporary regulatory paradigms. While these phenomena are increasingly proclaimed as paradigm altering in many respects, they remain relatively little understood, including in their regulatory dimension. Lawmakers around the globe including the European Commission are currently trying to make sense of these evolutions and determine how to regulate digital platforms. In its 2016 Communication on Online Platforms, the European Commission proposed various options for regulating the platform economy, including self-regulatory and co-regulatory models. The Commission’s assumption that self-regulation or co-regulation can replace top-down legislative intervention in the platform economy forms the background of this paper, which examines these three options to determine their respective suitability. We shall conclude that as command-and-control regulation as well as self-regulation raise significant problems in their application to the platform economy, co-regulation emerges as the most adequate option if certain conditions are complied with.